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A Declaration  by Robert Fulghum @ 80

1. I declare that I shall release the vice-grip of urgency and let go of Must Do, Must Get, Must Have, and Must Be. Compulsion doesn’t increase the quality of life.

2. I declare that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence – it’s greenest where it’s watered – so when climbing daily fences, I will carry water. Or save the next fence for another day and just lie down on the grass I’ve got.

3. I declare that speed does not improve the quality of life, and the Way On is not the Interstate Highway but the inner-state of being present one day at a time.

4. I declare that it is true that life turns out best for the one who makes the best of the way life turns out. The key is improvisation in the face of the unexpected, which is always to be expected. A better name for that is surprise.

5. I declare that not knowing is the doorway into surprise and amazement. Ignorance is not a failing, it’s a ticket to ride.

6. I declare the truth that if there’s no rain, there’s no rainbows – that the lotus blossom only grows out of the mud – and that if there’s no shit, there’s no shinola.

7. I declare that what I have and what I am is what I would have wanted if I had thought this was possible long ago when I didn’t know what I wanted or who I was. Now I know what has become of me. I can laugh and keep going.

8. I declare a moratorium on worrying about how things will finally turn out – soon enough I will be what I once was – no one and nowhere – and I have been there before. No problem.

9. I declare the truth of the contradiction that I am forever alone and also forever as much a part of the universe as the most distant star. And I am not alone alone.

10. I declare that I finally accept the reality that the universe is working itself out as it should, and even if I never can comprehend that, it’s ok.

Declaration – Author Robert Fulghum

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • BillH July 16, 2017, 7:58 AM

    Short version: c’est la vie.

  • Jim in Alaska July 16, 2017, 9:18 AM

    11. I declare and it doesn’t matter if you care.

  • Bunny July 16, 2017, 9:33 AM

    That was nice. Therapeutic Church of Happy Jack. This is better, if a bit more austere.
    Let nothing disturb you,
    Let nothing frighten you,
    All things are passing away:
    God never changes.
    Patience obtains all things.
    Whoever has God lacks nothing;
    God alone suffices.
    — St. Teresa of Avila

  • Arcs July 16, 2017, 10:07 AM

    I can but hope to be as near to there at 80 as mr fulghum was. As for you, mr van de leun, you breathe rare air. Please don’t stop doing what you do how you do it.

  • Dr. Jay July 16, 2017, 10:41 AM

    . . . and a Fly Swatter. Perfect!

  • Jewel Atkins July 16, 2017, 11:13 AM

    A Nice credo, if you can keep it.

  • Rob De Witt July 16, 2017, 1:23 PM


    Whatever he may have written, I can’t shake the association of Robert Fulghum with drum circles, workshops, and the UUs. Maybe in New England Unitarianism is a somewhat-acceptable intellectual posture, but every one I’ve met doesn’t believe in God (and demands that you be reminded of that at every opportunity) but wants to go to church. Like vegans with a weekly lecture to attend.

    Too many of the wrong people revere Robert Fulghum, and that’s enough for me.

  • Snowgoose July 16, 2017, 2:32 PM

    What crock. Philosophy by Dr. Pangloss. Whatever will be, will be… it’s all for the good.
    You can accept your world as someone else makes it, or drive change to be as you want into be…

  • rabbit tobacco July 16, 2017, 7:32 PM

    Kind of reminds me of the Desiderata

  • Hale Adams July 16, 2017, 7:37 PM


    It’s true enough that God helps those who help themselves. But one does on occasion run into to people who forget that God is in control, and He doesn’t really give a rat’s backside about how much you accomplish in this life or how fat your bank account is, but rather how you treat your fellow man.

    Absent an existential threat to the nation, Rev. Fulghum’s advice isn’t to be scoffed at. At least that’s how I — a born-and-raised Protestant with New England-ish ancestry, and a recent convert to Catholicism — see it.

    My two cents’ worth, as usual.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland